Sure­ly some­thing sim­i­lar has hap­pened to you at least once: you pho­to­graph some rare flower in the arbore­tum or a delight­ful bou­quet, and the pic­ture does not con­vey even a tenth of all the beau­ty and grace. What is the prob­lem and why in the pho­to we see some­thing com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent from what we see in real life? You can blame the wrong angle or inap­pro­pri­ate light­ing, a bad lens or lack of expe­ri­ence, but in fact there are many rea­sons. We have pre­pared a selec­tion of tips for you — once you start putting them into prac­tice, you will imme­di­ate­ly notice how much bet­ter your pho­tos of flow­ers and bou­quets will look.

Pho­to: hippopx.com

How best to shoot flowers: basic rules

  • To get start­ed, take a few min­utes to inspect the object from dif­fer­ent angles. Find the best angle to shoot from which will empha­size the advan­tages and hide the dis­ad­van­tages of the sub­ject. Also pay atten­tion to the light­ing and how the shad­ow falls.
  • Take pic­tures from dif­fer­ent posi­tions and imme­di­ate­ly com­pare the frames. For exam­ple, you can take a pic­ture while stand­ing over a flower, and then take a prone or kneel­ing posi­tion. Only by expe­ri­ence you will find the best angle.
  • When choos­ing a posi­tion, do not cov­er the object with your own shad­ow.
  • Light the flower from the back — this helps to get an inter­est­ing rain­bow effect in the pic­ture.
  • Use a lens hood to avoid lens flare.
  • Try to choose a back­ground that con­trasts with the sub­ject so that the flow­ers do not get lost on it.

How to photograph beautiful flowers on a sunny day

Let’s find out right away — sun­light is our friend or foe? On the one hand, because of it, you may encounter a num­ber of trou­bles: over­ex­po­sure of the frame, glare in the lens … On the oth­er hand, sun­light makes the pic­ture more expres­sive and bright.

With a well-cho­sen angle, the sun will help to prop­er­ly illu­mi­nate the flower petals. Pho­to: pixabay.com

In sun­ny weath­er, train your­self to use a hood and a UV fil­ter. They pre­vent the neg­a­tive effect of nat­ur­al ultra­vi­o­let radi­a­tion. If nei­ther one nor the oth­er was found dur­ing the shoot­ing (or you are pho­tograph­ing flow­ers on a smart­phone), you need to cov­er the object with some­thing, cre­ate a soft shad­ow, not a deaf one, which will make it even worse.

When shoot­ing on a SLR cam­era, you need to switch to man­u­al mode, close the aper­ture to f / 14 — f / 18 and short­en the shut­ter speed (from 1/100 to 1/160 s).

Using flash to shoot at noon

For begin­ners, this advice may seem strange, but in real­i­ty, a flash can be very use­ful even in bright sun­light. Mid­day, it often cre­ates a lot of harsh shad­ows that we don’t need. To bal­ance the com­po­si­tion, you need a flash: it will soft­en them.

This trick works with both pro­fes­sion­al cam­eras and smart­phones. The main thing is to switch the flash to forced fir­ing mode, because in bright light it will def­i­nite­ly not turn on auto­mat­i­cal­ly.

Angles for beautiful photos of flowers

It all depends on the sub­ject. If a flower grows in a flower bed or on a lawn, it is def­i­nite­ly impos­si­ble to shoot it strict­ly from above. And in gen­er­al, this angle should be used with cau­tion, as it turns out to be suc­cess­ful in excep­tion­al cas­es. Walk­ing in a gar­den or park among var­i­ous plants, we look down at them — this is a famil­iar angle for all of us. In pho­tographs, he will look as dull and trite as the pho­tographs of chil­dren from above. As soon as you bend down a lit­tle or sit down on your knees, or bet­ter, lie down on the ground at all, the frame will turn out to be com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent. When you pho­to­graph flow­ers from these posi­tions, you will see a non-stan­dard approach in your pic­tures. Even a lone­ly non­de­script flower, which no one would have noticed in ordi­nary life, can appear in a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent form.

Try shoot­ing at or below the bud lev­el. For exam­ple, pop­pies and tulips look great when viewed from below, from the ground. This rule does not work with all col­ors, so exper­i­ment.

By plac­ing the cam­era under the flow­ers, you can cre­ate a stun­ning shot against the back­ground of the sun, but you have to “play” with the aper­ture. Pho­to: w‑dog.ru

Using depth of field and blurring the background

In order for the flower not to blend into the back­ground, con­trol the depth of field — the so-called DOF. With this, you can sep­a­rate the bou­quet (or plant) from the back­ground or even high­light one bud. To blur the back­ground, we use the aper­ture: it needs to be opened by set­ting the min­i­mum val­ues ​​​​(f / 1.2 or f / 4). Now focus on the desired object and release the shut­ter. In this case, the object will turn out to be clear and expres­sive, and every­thing else will be blurred (back­ground or neigh­bor­ing flow­ers).

If you are pho­tograph­ing on a phone or a soap dish and you can’t use the aper­ture, then focus on the flower and take a pic­ture — then you will work with the back­ground while pro­cess­ing the pho­to. To con­trol the view­er’s atten­tion, you must always sep­a­rate the flower from the back­ground. Oth­er­wise, there is a risk that the pho­to will seem like a mess of flow­ers and cause dizzi­ness and nau­sea.

Blur­ring the back­ground with a well-cho­sen depth of field helps to high­light the main sub­ject in the frame. Pho­to: pixnio.com

Setting the white balance

This cam­era set­ting helps you take pic­tures with the right tones. How to use it, every­one decides for him­self. You can make frames cold­er or, con­verse­ly, warmer. If the white bal­ance is adjust­ed auto­mat­i­cal­ly, you risk not get­ting what you expect.

Some­times it helps to select ready-made options for this para­me­ter in the cam­era menu for sun­ny or cloudy weath­er. For exam­ple, to make the green petals of your flow­ers brighter and warmer, or the red rose to look more expres­sive, try switch­ing modes and see the result.

With white bal­ance, you can “play” in the graph­ics edi­tor dur­ing post-pro­cess­ing. Some­times it is dif­fi­cult to catch the right ray of light, or clouds hide it at the most inop­por­tune moment. In this case, you can miss an inter­est­ing frame, but adjust every­thing as need­ed dur­ing pro­cess­ing.

Backlight for highlighting details

When you need to empha­size such tiny details as thorns, vil­li on the stem or leaves, spines, or to reflect the translu­cen­cy of the petals in the pic­ture, use back­light. To get the best effect, shoot on cloudy days and choose an angle that dark­ens the back­ground. If you take the risk of shoot­ing your sub­ject against a bright sun, the petals around the edges will turn out to be over­ex­posed, and this will be extreme­ly dif­fi­cult to cor­rect in post-pro­cess­ing.

The sun set­ting below the hori­zon is less bright, and it can be used as a back­light. Pho­to: pixabay.com

We arm ourselves with a reflector, or how to photograph bouquets of flowers

When shoot­ing flow­ers indoors, prob­lems often arise due to inap­pro­pri­ate light­ing. Some­thing sim­i­lar can be encoun­tered on the street on a cloudy day. To enliv­en the com­po­si­tion, high­light it from the right side using a sil­ver reflec­tor. Its advan­tage is that the effect is notice­able even before the shut­ter is released. The light reflect­ed by the reflec­tor is soft, as sharp shad­ows are exclud­ed.

It is not nec­es­sary to place the reflec­tor very close to the object, oth­er­wise the shad­ows will light­en up and look unnat­ur­al. It is very con­ve­nient to use fold­ing round reflec­tors that you can take with you to the park or gar­den. With­in the room, if you need to beau­ti­ful­ly shoot a bou­quet, the reflec­tor can gen­er­al­ly be replaced with thick white card­board or a piece of plas­tic.

How to simulate rain to beautifully photograph flowers

The drops that have set­tled on the petals of flow­ers look incom­pa­ra­ble. And it’s not a prob­lem if there was no rain before your pho­to ses­sion. Take a hand sprayer and spray the bou­quet or flow­ers from all sides. The water will col­lect into droplets that will look like real rain­drops or remind you of morn­ing dew. The main thing is not to over­do it — do not pour too much.

Sprayed flow­ers look like it just rained. Pho­to: hippopx.com

If you set a goal, you can pick up a small spray bot­tle that fits in your pock­et or does not take up much space in your back­pack. This way you will have a portable rain with you to shoot flow­ers wher­ev­er you see them. Side light­ing or back­light will illu­mi­nate the drops, giv­ing them a more aes­thet­ic appear­ance.

How to remove a blooming flower

And final­ly, we leave a sim­ple but very effec­tive tip — get a com­pact mini tri­pod. When fold­ed, it takes up min­i­mal space and fits eas­i­ly into any bag or back­pack. By lay­ing it out at the shoot­ing loca­tion, you can cre­ate long expo­sure shots. If you wish, even shoot a time-lapse: for exam­ple, how the buds bloom. The main thing is that there is no wind when shoot­ing out­side.